Epicor announces next-generation ERP solution featuring Epicor True SOA

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Epicor Software Corporation , a leading provider of enterprise business software for the midmarket and divisions of Global 1000 companies, recently unveiled to nearly 2,000 attendees at its annual customer conference its next-generation enterprise resource planning (ERP) solution Epicor 9.

Leveraging more than 20 years of experience designing and implementing ERP solutions, Epicor is introducing a new approach to the way ERP systems are designed, built, and used. 

Expected to be generally available before the end of the year, Epicor 9 will virtually put ERP everywhere, utilising Web 2.0 concepts to provide users with a truly collaborative and dynamic enterprise business application experience. Epicor 9 raises technology to a level that delivers unprecedented business management and supports continuous performance improvement through real-time, in-context business insight. At the core of Epicor 9 is an adaptable and collaborative business architecture that satisfies the needs of any enterprise regardless of country, industry, or access device, enabling business anywhere business without barriers.  

With Epicor 9, Epicor continues its proven history of innovation with Microsoft technology by working to redefine the enterprise application software experience, said Walid Abu-Hadba, CVP, Developer & Platform Evangelism for Microsoft Corp. We applaud Epicor for its deep utilization of the Microsoft platform to deliver its next-generation service-based business solutions. These applications offer users tremendous choice for interacting with their enterprise information through the 2007 Microsoft Office system (Office Outlook 2007, Office Word 2007, and Office Excel 2007), Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007, Microsoft Office PerformancePoint Server 2007, Windows Mobile and more. We expect that the combination of Epicor and Microsoft software will enable companies to drive greater efficiencies and create new business value as users are empowered to work smarter and faster.  

Business Management

With proven success in developing and delivering service-oriented enterprise applications used by thousands of companies around the world today, Epicor has converged the best of its offerings into this next-generation superset release. Encompassing the robust functionality, global footprint and industry expertise of Epicors existing ERP suites, the release takes business management and control to the next level by extending reach, synergy, and visibility to the organisation and its trading partners. 

Specifically, Epicor features numerous essential embedded capabilities that manage the flow of processes right across the enterprise. This approach to core functionality, typically provided in other systems through after-the-fact integration or third party add-ons includes customer relationship management (CRM), supplier relationship management (SRM), advanced planning and scheduling (APS), business process management (BPM), governance, risk and compliance (GRC), product configuration, field service and more. Additionally, integral support for master data management (MDM) and what Epicor terms Global Business Management lets businesses virtualize their enterprise across plants, warehouses, sites, trading partners, companies, countries, and hardware, keeping everything synchronised in real time. 

Business Insight

Epicor has responded to the needs of todays businesses, who finding that it is no longer enough to respond retroactively to trends uncovered by complex business intelligence tools all too often removed from the point of decision and managed and used by a select few, are seeking better solutions. Todays information workers require decision support in real time, and they want it deployed in the tools they already use, day in and day out. Epicor Enterprise Performance Management (EPM) removes the barriers to better business insight through a combination of intuitive enterprise search-based user experiences, user-driven key performance indicators (KPIs), role-based interactive dashboards, and pre-packaged analytics delivered in context that have real meaning to the user and add real value to the business.

Business Architecture

Epicors enterprise business solution has been designed for growing companies in domestic and global markets, and is built on a second-generation service-oriented architecture (SOA) which Epicor announced earlier this year, Epicor Internet Component Environment (ICE) 2.0. The backbone of Epicors next-generation ERP solutions, Epicor ICE, fuses modern Web 2.0 technologies with Epicor True SOA to deliver an enabling business architecture that offers new levels of flexibility, usability, and agility in support of application-to-application integration and business-to-business collaboration.

What makes Epicor True SOA different is the way that all client code, as well as application business logic is delivered as self-describing business services, offering a tremendous step forward in the creation of productive user experiences. Part of Epicor True SOA is the Epicor Everywhere Framework, a unique technology that stores all user interface attributes as XML metadata. This permits Epicor applications to run as smart clients or Web clients or on mobile devices, all from the same source code. Because it all starts from the same metadata, customization and user personalization remains intact, whatever the user interface. 

Business Anywhere

The tools that people use to conduct business today have changed. Business is everywhere, business is real-time, and business is always online. Epicor understands that the Internet and ubiquitous mobility play an essential part in the daily lives of the information-hungry global economy. The world has changed and with Epicor 9, ERP has too.

Featuring a unique global engine design approach, Epicor 9 offers a comprehensive configurable ERP platform and global footprint thats ready for deployment anywhere. The initial release is expected to support over 20 languages and countries, with rapid expansion planned to the worlds principle markets in more than 40 countries in the Americas, EMEA, and the Asia Pacific Rim.

Enabled by the Epicor Everywhere Framework and targeted use of modern consumer Web concepts, Epicor next-generation applications can be accessed via a range of mobile devices, such as Windows Mobile, Symbian, BlackBerry, and the Apple iPhone for wireless business. Additionally, Epicor Enterprise Performance Management (EPM) can also be deployed direct to mobile devices and include full search capabilities to rapidly find and drill down to applicable data.   

Securing IT Investments Protect, Extend, Converge

For both existing and prospective customers, this is just the next step in Epicors protect, extend, and converge strategy, enabling them to leverage the latest technology at their own pace.  The next generation will expand on the Epicor solutions that customers have trusted to run and grow their businesses for many years. Because Epicor next-generation solutions are based on componentized business architecture, Epicor ICE, customers are able to leverage extended applications like Epicor Information Worker, Epicor Portal, and Epicor Service Connect today with their existing Epicor solution, enabling them to start taking advantage of service-oriented applications before they move up to the next-generation release.

Epicor 9 is the culmination of a well-defined strategy, which at the same time supports current customer investments while keeping the technology moving forward.  Bruce Richardson, chief research officer of AMR Research, commented in a recent article that getting to one brand obviously offers the potential for greater efficiencies in sales, marketing, consulting and services, and product development.[1][1]

Keeping Pace with Business Requirements

Epicor will empower companies to select the fundamental options that are right for their businesschoosing whether to deploy on-premise, single-tenant hosted, or multi-tenant Software as a Service (SaaS), Windows-based or Web-based, centralized or decentralized, end-to-end or individual suites. Customers can also choose how to configure the application suites to best fit and improve business processes. End users can choose several options for interacting with their ERP system: using the standard application forms, through Microsoft Office applications, through Internet and intranet portal pages or composite applications, using a search engine, taking RSS feeds, and from mobile devices.

Epicor next-generation enterprise applications represent a game-changing opportunity for business, said Thomas Kelly, president and CEO of Epicor. Epicor 9 is unparalleled because it is designed for the way people work today, is built for business, and is ready for change. Our strategy is to provide both new and existing customers with unprecedented flexibility and choice. Its about delivering business without barriers.

 

About Epicor Software Corporation

Epicor is a global leader dedicated to providing integrated enterprise resource planning (ERP), customer relationship management (CRM), supply chain management (SCM) and professional services automation (PSA) software solutions to the midmarket and divisions of Global 1000 companies. Founded in 1984, Epicor serves over 20,000 customers in more than 140 countries, providing solutions in over 30 languages. Employing innovative service-oriented architecture (SOA) and Web services technology, Epicor delivers end-to-end, industry-specific solutions for manufacturing, distribution, retail, hospitality and services that enable companies to drive increased efficiency, improve performance and build competitive advantage. Epicor solutions provide the scalability and flexibility to meet today's business challenges, while empowering enterprises for even greater success tomorrow. Epicor offers a comprehensive range of services with its solutions, providing a single point of accountability to promote rapid return on investment and low total cost of ownership. Epicors worldwide headquarters are located in Irvine, California with offices and affiliates around the world. 

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[1][1] Source: AMR Research, First Thing Monday:  Epicor 9: The Accomplishment that Eluded Microsoft and Oracle (Sept. 8, 2008)

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